A couple of days ago I said the credit card issuing banks had a lot of chutzpa, which is a Yiddish word meaning “a lot of gall,” only more so.
Then I was talking about their strategy, in the face of federal curbs on their ability to skin people behind on their payments, of just making people who pay their bills on time, in full, pay more.
Two days later what shows up in my mailbox but proof.
I always pay my bill, in full, the day it shows up. If it means taking money out of savings, I don’t care, I call the bank. Go without meat for the rest of the month?Live on oatmeal the rest of the year?
Fine. The bill gets paid. In full. No option.
I hate paying interest. Once, just once, I got careless and paid a late fee, plus interest, and vowed that would never happen again. So now, no matter how much, the bill goes out the day after it comes in, paid in full, end of story.
This month’s bill has a nice note attached: “You have the flexibility to skip a payment!” it cheerily says, then goes on to note that, this month only, just because they like the look of me, my minimum payment is zero.
Wow, zero? Well, not exactly.
I would have to pay any late payments, which is fair, and over limit balances, also fair. But, no minimum payment until next month!
But, wait, what’s this? “Finance charges will continue to accrue…” it says.
By always paying in full, the day I get the bill, I am inside the 20 day “grace period” and so never, ever, pay finance charges. If I do what these yokles are “letting” me do, I avoid making the minimum payment (so my principle owed stays the same) AND I also start owing them “finance charges.”
Pay interest? Major yuk. Mortal sin. Evil incarnate.
Sneaky devils — appear to give me a break but really try very hard to get me (a) deeper in debt and (b) owing them more money.
Checkbook out. Paid in full. Stamp on envelope. Out it goes.
Frankly, whatever the bill the feds just approved to crack down on these guys says, it’s not harsh enough.